Hemp Products vs. Medical Marijuana
Hemp has been in the news a good deal lately in the Commonwealth, and if you have a medical marijuana card, you may have seen hemp products on local shelves but not in the dispensaries. This might have left you wondering, what is the difference? What exactly is hemp and how does it vary from medical marijuana. They vary in a lot of ways, it turns out!
What is Hemp, Anyway?
Many people think that hemp and marijuana are two different plants, but that’s not the case. In fact, both are a type of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family. Where they differ, technically, is in their THC content.
Hemp varieties, in the eyes of the law, contain less than 0.3% THC. THC, of course, is the cannabinoid in cannabis that gives it its psychoactive properties. This 0.3% line was defined in the late 1970s in a book drafted by one Ernest Small as an attempt to delineate between the two plants and create ways to stratify cannabis plants.
Legal Definitions of Hemp
Legal documents began using this 0.3% line pretty recently, and in Virginia, this percentage has become central in some legislative discussions around cannabis. Products marketed as hemp-based in the Commonwealth have come under fire recently. Some are concerned that these products, though they have less than 0.3% THC, may prove harmful to the general populace and especially children. Some of these products are, in fact, marketed directly to children, legislators claim.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, in particular, was drafted with the intent of creating a clear and defined line between “hemp” and cannabis, opening up farming opportunities for farmers looking to market this plant in the manufacturing of a wide range of products from clothing to soap.
Hemp Uses and Applications
Hemp can be grown to create many different products. Its increasingly popular in clothing, for instance, since it provides soft natural fibers. It is also considered a more sustainable option for textiles than things like cotton, since it grows quickly and is more easily harvested. Additional products made from hemp include but are not limited to:
hemp seed foods
hemp protein powder
Hemp nutritional properties are especially appealing to vegans and vegetarians since they provide a complete protein that is also high in fiber. One important thing to note is that the CBD oils made from hemp in your local stores are not the same as the medical marijuana oils or CBD-rich products you will find at a dispensary, which (you will learn below) are higher quality and much better regulated!
Hemp vs. Medical Marijuana
While hemp and cannabis are similar in a general sense, when you compare the two, some very clear distinctions become evident, especially in Virginia.
Medical marijuana, for one, comes in a wide range of carefully cultivated varieties, and each of these varieties has been developed with a specific therapeutic application in mind.
The cultivation of medical marijuana in Virginia is also carefully supervised and regulated by the state or, more specifically, by the Board of Pharmacy. Every step in the cultivation process is regulated to ensure that medical marijuana is both a high-quality and safe product.
Hemp, on the other hand, is unregulated in the Commonwealth as of this today. While the recent bill in the Virginia legislature may change that, those interested in benefiting from the therapeutic effects of the cannabis plant can still only find the best and safest options with medical marijuana.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to CBD. Products found at dispensaries that are high in CBD have been carefully vetted, while hemp-derived CBD products sold in stores around Virginia have not necessarily been.
Medical Marijuana Heals Where Hemp Cannot! Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!
While OTC options may have some appeal, there is nothing in the Commonwealth that outperforms medical marijuana in terms of therapeutic benefits!
Schedule an appointment with an online VA medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe and legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more for your loved one or patient!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness
safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on
education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by
providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.